Arizona · Illustration

Hanging out with the full moon

The neighbors oleanders rise like kelp into the ocean of night sky behind over our back yard.

Full Moon - an Illustration


Last night, at the end of a very long day that began with a five and a half mile hike around the neighborhood and ended with replacing the bumpers on my car, after I got the dogs kenneled for the night and the house cleaned up, I decided that it was one of those rare nights when it was cool enough to sit outside and enjoy the night.

The fact is, it wasn’t.

It was still in the high nineties, and because this is our monsoon season, the humidity was at an uncomfortable level. But if I sat just right, and the breeze hit our yard at just the right angle, it was tolerable.

Lighting up the last cigar I have at home, left over from the fishing trip my father and I took in July, I sat in the Adirondack chair on the back patio with my feet in the grass, watching the not-quite-supermoon-yet full moon float by over the neighbors oleander trees. The way they swayed together in the breeze it was easy to imagine they were kelp, dancing in unison to the silent music of an ocean current, reaching for the surface.

I sat there for a long time, just sitting alone in the quiet darkness, thinking about life and work and some friends I hadn’t thought about in years; letting my mind wander isn’t something I give it much opportunity to do. That’s one of the things I really enjoy about cigars: I’m not much of a smoker, so I can’t multitask very easily. A friend once told me that cigars weren’t built for productivity, they were designed for rest. Having a cigar forces me to just sit and be still for the duration, otherwise I end up coughing or turning green.

Eventually, my more logical mind took over again, suggesting that I could surely be doing something else while I sit there, maybe catching up on my reading list, or returning email, or getting some billing done.

Rather than consume and potentially get stressed out about what might be lurking in my inbox, I decided to draw and stay as in the present as much as possible. Staying present is also not one of my strong suits. I thought a good way to do that would be to capture the scene in front of me as best I could with my iPad.

And since they seem to be popular, here’s the behind the scenes creation video:


Justa Poboy – An Edgar Allen Poe Illustration

As part of my new self-imposed “draw every day” mandate, I’m finding it easier to just draw on the iPad than to try to draw in a sketch book, since I always have it with me. Today’s daily doodle is a dark little Poe illustration created with ProCreate:


Poe illustration - the PoBoy


The behind-the-scenes Poe Illustration video:


Bill Watterson, we miss you. Love, Spaceman Spiff

Sometimes when you start sketching you have no idea where it’s going to end up.

The sudden appearance of the ground and addition details is the result of the ProCreate app continually crashing while editing the layer. Apparently the “record” function just ignored what I was doing and jumps ahead of the glitch. To the app developers credit, the app doesn’t lose the picture itself when these crashes happen, and even though ProCreate doesn’t bill itself as an animation tool, the crashing and subsequent hiccups in the playback sequence drive me nuts. The rest of the app is so polished that it really highlights the problems when they occur.

And the final art, with Spaceman Spiff breaking up a little dino-rumble:

Spaceman Spiff and dinosaurs



I really liked a doodle that I had begun in a meeting one day, so I decided to take the time to flesh it out a bit more. One of the best features of the ProCreate app on the iPad is the fact that it will export the video of the process. I discovered this feature last year and created my little red balloon movie on Cameo.

Here’s the final version of the image:

And here’s the way-more-interesting video of the process:

Zinno from aaron.



Using the Procreate App for iPad for animation

So the new version of the Procreate app for iPad has an “export video” function. Take that little video, run it through the Cameo app, and you end up with a fun little hipster movie.

There are some caveats to this method, most notably the lack of a true timeline to go back upon which to make edits. It records what you draw in real time, so any mistakes are visible until you erase/overwrite them, both of which actions are also visible. Personally, I like the rough draft feeling of this style of animation. It doesn’t give as polished a finished product, but as an added feature to an already-amazing illustration app it has the ability to become my favorite digital drawing tool.